The creatures are all abuzz. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, you can turn your garden into a wildlife sanctuary and enjoy watching wildlife all year long. How can you turn your garden into a wildlife sanctuary?
Make a Mess
Yes, you want your garden to look beautiful. However, animals don’t care what it looks like to you. They care about finding homes and food. If you want to attract animals to your garden on a long term basis, you need to make sure that they can find those homes and that food throughout the year. This means that when you’re cleaning up the garden in the fall, you should keep those messy parts of the garden a little messier than you might if you were only designing for humans. For instance, you could keep a small pile of brush or thick shrubs for birds to nest in or keep low stalks intact when you’re pruning to maintain homes for mason bees.
If you want to attract a wide variety of animals to your garden, you need to add many different plants to your garden as well. These plants will give those animals the diversity they need to find food. According to All About Birds, “a diversity of plants will offer a diversity of food in the form of flower buds, fruit, seeds, nectar, sap, and associated insects.” By planting many different plants, you can provide that food not only to birds, but to insects, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles as well.
Add Other Habitat Elements
Water, mud, rocks, sticks, and leaves are all essential homes for animals in your garden. Most of the animals in your garden are the smaller invertebrate variety, also known as bugs. They need these small homes to do well. For example, according to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Bees and other beneficial insects — ladybugs, butterflies, and predatory wasps — all need fresh water to drink but most can’t land in a conventional bird bath without crashing.”
- Add a pool for bees, with small rocks for them to land on
- Keep a few muddy or dusty areas for bees and birds to use to make nests and clean themselves
- Add leaves as mulch and attract more earthworms and other soil-builders to your garden
Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
A garden is greater than the sum of its parts. If you design a garden well, it will attract and create a functioning ecosystem of different wildlife. For example, if you add comfrey to attract bees, they will also pollinate your apple trees. Anytime you attract one animal to your garden, others will follow. As you design your garden, consider how you can add plants that work together – one attracts soil-building animals, while another attracts pollinators.
Add an Ounce of Prevention
When you’re inviting the local wildlife to come and visit, you also need to ensure that you can control the animals that you don’t want to visit all that often. Wasps and mosquitoes are probably in that category. While they serve a role in your garden ecosystem, you don’t need to invite them to set up shop in your yard. Avoid attracting wasps and mosquitoes:
- Clean your gutters regularly so that they don’t get clogged with water and debris, attracting mosquitoes and wasps.
- Add guttercovers to your gutters so that you don’t need to worry about wasps making a nest there or mosquitoes breeding in pools in your gutters.
- Make sure that your ponds are not entirely still: add a pond bubbler so that mosquitoes don’t breed in your pond.
- Patch up holes into your attic and under your eaves, so that wasps don’t have an entrance into an easy hiding and nesting area.
When you contact Harry Helmet, you’re contacting a business with experience. Connect with us to learn more about gutter covers, roofing, and awnings to protect your home and garden. Schedule a free estimate today.